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The m-commerce market is still in its infancy, but growing mobile penetration will lead to further growth
Although the term m-commerce is widely used in both literature and news media, understanding of this industry is still lagging. Pyramid Research’s M-Commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa: Making Sense of a Growing Mobile Business provides an overview of the growing m-commerce market in Sub-Saharan Africa by looking at the different aspects of mobile transactions.
The Pyramid Research difference:
• Gain access to information regarding the existing m-commerce infrastructure in Africa as well as the industry’s potential for expansion
• The report gives key recommendations on how companies should act if they are interested in this market and discusses existing opportunities in the m-commerce market in region, providing a number of actionable recommendations for market participants
• Truly understand the market with a comprehensive examination of the value chain and some of the key companies involved in the growth of the mobile-commerce industry in Sub-Saharan Africa
Assessing the size of these two distinct m-commerce markets is difficult because market participants are not keen to publish their figures, as they run the risk of exposing their advantages in this fast-growing industry.
The potential user base for both forms of m-commerce continues to expand, driven primarily by the growing availability of mobile-money services and the proliferation of mobile phones. Importantly, African markets are at the forefront of mobile-payment services development, with one of the world’s largest systems, M-PESA, originating in Kenya. The spread of these services means that African consumers are significantly more likely to use mobile payments to pay for goods than consumers in other developing countries. This is supported by research by MasterCard, which finds that consumer readiness in the three African countries they studied exceeds the international average.
In most of Africa, far more people have a mobile-payment account than a bank account. Familiarity with and trust in mobile-payment technology has already been established in parts of the continent. Furthermore, the price advantage of a mobile phone over a computer or tablet makes it the Internet device of choice in many lower-income countries.
While the role of the mobile phone has continued to grow in Africa, shopping on a device is not its most common use. In a survey conducted in 2012, McKinsey found that phones were most frequently used for social media and instant messaging. However, a significant number of African consumers — 10% — use their mobile phones to shop online or book their travels. Although this rate is lower than in the more developed markets, such as the US (30%) and the UK (26%), the gap is relatively narrow.